We Singaporeans love our pineapple tarts. It’s our special Chinese New Year treat and staple. Every household will have at least a jar of pineapple tarts during this festive season. Every store will be selling, everybody will be buying/baking pineapple tarts. The internet is not short on pineapple tart recipes as well.
So what makes mine so special? It’s special because it is done the way I like it. You know what gets my goat? When people eat my tarts and say hmm, you didn’t put enough pineapple, your crust is too gummy/hard/soft/crumbly, not sweet/sour/salty enough, too small/big, too much /little crust. They seem to think there is One Pineapple Tart to rule them all and that I need pointers from them to achieve this elusive One Pineapple Tart. People should just eat, appreciate the free tarts and say mmm, yummy, thank you. It’s simply good manners and grace.
Over time, our taste buds change and our needs change and hence my recipes change. I used to love pineapple tarts that melt and crumble in the mouth. I no longer do. Now I like something with more crunch and more robust, not so delicate as I need them to survive the journey to my kids’ school. I still like it really buttery, and have equal amount of pineapple to crust. I’m more about flavor and taste than looks. So it’s perfectly all right to me if they come out looking a bit pale and cracked. I also have to make sure the recipe has no milk as some of us are lactose-intolerant, as well as no other unnecessary artificial additives like coloring and artificial flavoring.
So here’s my 2017 version. It’s slightly crunchy, buttery (not flour-y or doughy), bite-size and equal amount of stuffing to crust.
Pineapple Tarts (sorry I don’t know how many it makes. Just a lot. Like about 250?)
250 g cold salted butter (use the best butter)
425 g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 egg (70g size), beaten
4 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp desiccated coconut
Rub butter into flour using finger tips until resembles bread crumbs. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix into a smooth non-sticky dough. If it is a little tacky, it’s ok as you can dust with flour later. Leave dough to rest in the fridge for a couple of hours or a few days.
Sorry, these days I take short cuts and buy the packet of paste from the shops. BUT, when I was in Michigan and desperately needed pineapple tarts, I used canned crushed pineapple in juice. Boil the crushed pineapple (with juice, for flavor). Sugar if you wish and boil until you get dry-ish pineapple paste.
So as for mise en place, first roll all the pineapple paste and all the dough approximately equal in size. Then stuff the pineapple into the dough. Roll in the palms of your hands to achieve a smooth dough.
Short crust pastry don’t exactly expand when cooking, so go ahead and place them close together. I can make about 77 0n one cookie sheet.
Bake about 160 c for about 15 min, rotate pan if you need to, egg wash if you wish (I don’t), bake another 15 min.
It takes longer to make than to eat. So do make more! 8D